The past few years had reminded us of the importance of stocking survival food. The world has experienced a global pandemic, international armed conflicts, and natural disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes, wildfires, and floods. The worst thing that a person can do is to face these situations unprepared and scramble for supplies when disaster strikes.
Keep in mind that when a disaster hits, you might face food, water shortages, and power outages for days. Hence, stockpiling emergency food kits are essential to keep you and your family well-fed and hydrated.
With a proper emergency food kit, you will at least have peace of mind that you and your family’s well-being are being taken care of. Then, you would have sufficient energy and resources to search for renewed food and water supplies.
In fact, I have written an in-depth review on the best emergency food kits that are available in the market that provides great shelf life, tasty food, and high nutritional value. If you are a vegan prepper, I have also listed down the best vegan emergency food kits and compared the pros and cons so that you can decide which food kit suits you and your family the best.
There are many authorities like the International Red Cross and The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) by Homeland Security which provides their emergency food kits ideas through their official website. FEMA recommends ready-to-eat canned meat and vegetables like canned beans, protein bars, dried fruit, peanut butter and energy-dense foods like oatmeal and nuts.
In this article, I would like to provide you with my top 5 emergency food kits ideas that you need to consider when preparing your survival food kits. Let’s dive right onto it, shall we?
5 Emergency Food Kits Ideas
1. Clean drinking water
The red cross organization has recommended that a normal active person needs to drink at least two quarts (half-gallon) of water each day. Storing at least one gallon per person per day should suffice as you will also need water for food preparation and hygiene. Consider storing at least a two-week supply of water for each member of your family.
Here is a quick table for your reference on how much water you need to store:
|Number of Family members||Amount of Water Storage|
How to store clean drinking water
There are various ways that one can store water. You can use a food-grade water storage container or purchase commercially bottled water. When filling your own water containers, fill the container with regular tap water. Replace the water every six months and ensure that the containers are tightly closed and stored in a cool dark place.
For commercially bottled water, it is considered to have an indefinite shelf life if it is stored in an unopened and sealed container according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even though there are usually expiration dates on the bottled waters.
2. Canned Meat and Vegetables
Canned meat and vegetables are a great source of nutrients and provide you with the necessary vitamin, minerals and protein to ensure adequate nutrition. It is essential for one to eat a well-balanced diet each day so it is important for us to stack up canned food in our survival food list.
What to look out for in canned food
There are multiple considerations when selecting your canned food:
a. Shelf Life
Canned meats generally can be kept for two to five years while canned vegetables usually last for one to two years. It is imperative to keep these canned products in a cool and dry area. Inspect the cans for any bulging or rusting which leads to spoilage before consumption.
b. Sodium content
Since sodium is used to extend the shelf life of this canned food. Look for the options with the least amount of salt especially if you have dietary restrictions.
c. Saturated Fat
Saturated fat tends to raise your cholesterol levels increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. A general rule of thumb is to find products that contain less than 3 grams of fat per 100 calories. This means that 30% or less of the calories come from fat.
Survival crackers or hardtack is essentially hard cracker that is made from flour, salt and water. These crackers were popular back in the cold war period due to their durability and ease of making because they are resistant to environmental influences such as humidity, heat, cold and rodents.
It is full of carbohydrates, cheap, lightweight and can be kept for decades. However, survival crackers often lack the important nutrients and one cannot survive for weeks solely depending on eating crackers alone.
Survival crackers are best for snacking since there is no cooking or preparation required. You can also pair these crackers with cheese, peanut butter or dipped in soup or coffee to make your meal tasty.
4. Granola and Protein Bars
Ready-to-eat protein bars can be a great source of protein, vitamins and minerals like iron and calcium while also tasting great. These bars tend to have a long shelf life and provide high calories so you can conveniently carry these survival food bars in your backpack
What to look out for in a protein bar
The best part of stocking protein bar is that it comes in a great variety of flavors, including chocolate, fruits and peanut butter.
b. Shelf life
Protein bars can generally be kept for at least 6 to 12 months. There are also long shelf life emergency food ration protein bars that offer up to 5 years of shelf life.
Granola and protein bars are usually made of yogurt powder, dairy proteins like casein and whey while some contain egg whites, nuts and seed. If you have a dietary restriction, look for protein bars that are gluten-free, soy-free and organic.
5. Freeze-dried food
Ready-to-eat freeze-dried food is easy to prepare in any emergency situation by just adding hot water and the food taste as good as the original product. The technology involves freezing the food, then removing all moisture in a vacuum chamber and sealing the food in an airtight container.
Freeze-dried food is lightweight since 98% of water content has been removed making it impossible for any harmful bacteria to survive. This means that you can carry your survival food anywhere and enjoy a great meal by reintroducing water. Another advantage of storing freeze-dried food as your emergency food kit is the long shelf life. Many freeze-dried food can last for at least 10 years and some could even last up to 30 years.
What to look out for in freeze-dried food
Great tasting emergency food reflects the quality of the ingredients used. There are many great-tasting freeze-dried food available in the market and are usually offered in a variety pack that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, fruits and desserts.
b. Shelf Life
Emergency food kits have a very long shelf life reducing waste and worry when maintaining a disaster preparedness kit. A general rule of thumb is to select a freeze-dried food kit that has a minimum shelf life of 10 years.
c. Nutritional Value
Multiple studies have shown that freeze-dried foods often retain over 90% of the original fresh food’s nutrition, much more than other drying techniques like heat-drying as the freeze-drying method is able to retain the micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) and phytonutrients remarkably well.
Shelf Life for Survival Food
Here is a quick guide to the shelf life of foods for storage
|Shelf Life||Survival Food List|
|Use within 1-3 days||· Perishable food including meat, fish, poultry from the refrigerator, pantry, and garden (inspect all food for signs of spoilage before use)|
|Use within 6 months||· Dried fruit|
|Use within 12 months||· Canned meat|
· Ready-to-eat cereals
· Peanut Butter
· Canned fruits and vegetables
· Canned nuts
|May store indefinitely (in proper storage condition)||· Dry pasta|
· White rice
· Instant coffee and tea
· Dried corn
I hope you have enjoyed these 5 emergency food kits supply ideas that can make a huge difference during a survival situation for yourself and your family.
When stocking an emergency kit, it is important to also check the expiration dates regularly or annually so that food that is spoiled or close to expiration can be consumed or disposed of. Let me know in the comments if you found these guidelines helpful in preparing your next survival food kit.